writer, warrior, whack-a-doodle



May 3, 2011
Posted in: Totally Random | Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Challenge: find something rusty. I found this rusty gate (and rusty smeared retaining wall) at the Lavaux vineyards on my Saturday bike ride. Little did I know it would serve as a metaphor for my bike riding abilities.

I've seen enough tourism promotions on cycling in Lavaux to think it was a good idea. But I forgot the Swiss are crazy.  I didn't realize how ridiculously steep these hills were.  It took over an hour and half to get there, navigating the heavy foot and car traffic of a running event through Lausanne. I rode in on the main lower road in the photo above.

By the time I got there, I had little patience for wanting to climb any hill, let alone these steep mo-fo's. Sigh.  There was a time when I didn't consider anything under 6% grade a real ride.

I started the vinorama further down on the south side, in St. Saphorin. Naturally the village had some wine tasting happening on its steep cobbled streets so I had to hoof it through the village to the nearest vineyard path. There wasn't asingle bike rider on the paths. Now I know why. They're almost un-rideable. Or maybe I'm just terribly unfit.

I realized on the climb I rode the wrong bike. This was meant for my triple-ring road bike or my mountain bike.  The cross bike I was on didn't have enough gears. Or maybe I was just terribly unfit.

So I decided my strategy would be to ride the terraces as switchbacks rather than take the steepest roads up. Because surely those steep sections aren't made for cyclists. But maybe I'm just terribly unfit.

Because I started the ride late in the day, I only rode up a third of the way and I didn't have time to go further. Or maybe it was because I'm just terribly unfit.

So I headed home after riding only one of the terraces. Only now I was on the top of the steepest end of the Vinorama above Rivaz. And as I descended, I realized without a doubt I had brought the wrong bike. Cross bikes are not made for stopping. They are literally made to keep rolling. And I was surely descending some of the steepest hills I've ever seen. So I got off and hoofed it. Surely this was not made to descend on a cross bike. Or maybe I'm just terribly... oh wait that doesn't work.

I rode home and fantasized about planning other, easier routes to get to the very top of the vinorama. If the fact that I fantasized about easier routes didn't confirm it, nothing will.  I'm terribly unfit.

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12 comments on “Rusted!”

  1. If you are terribly unfit at least you have the good sense to go somewhere stunningly beautiful to enjoy while you rest up/walk instead. No, I don't feel sorry for you.


  2. Unfit??? YOU??? Our mom wouldn't even be able to hoof it DOWN, never mind UP.

    We love the new masthead - the pups look beautiful surrounded by all those beautiful tulips!!!

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  3. Your photography is stunning! Thank you for making my armchair traveling so beautiful! Don't they make weeds where you live?!! Everything is so well coifed!

  4. The most fun thing about being terribly unfit is seeing how fast you get fitter when you start riding after a hiatus! You'll be amazed!

    What gorgeous green landscapes. It looks like a wonderful place to ride, with the right gears.

  5. Mango's point is, as always, well taken. That said, good grief! look at those hills! Gives mama palpitations just looking at them. So to whom are you comparing yourself when you whinge about being out of shape - Lance Armstong?

    Jed & Abby

  6. I am so jealous, these photos are just beautiful. I can't believe you get to see such beauty on a daily basis. You're very lucky...enjoy the view my friend. 🙂

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